Money, Value, and a Response
“Four dollars a shot,”
marched from the bartender’s mouth -
each syllable carried the clanks
of Herbie’s Rhodes – jutting like
glacier crags in swells of desert-base.
They carried the smoke curling like
a silver chain draped around a neck,
and the bulges of slurred blurbs.
The words seeped from the regular collection of
the blood-sweet odor of smoke –
not the bartender.
I understood the bar, but I didn’t know what he meant.
The four dollars rustled out of my wallet
and crinkled on the table like
brittle leaves popping back into form.
The sap-colored whiskey
plunked on the bar,
and hummed a sharp
Masked, the bartender noticed
an obtuse heap of slurs that
rumpled his skin into a smile.
His shoulders flipped,
and he was swept into
the patterned shrub of sensation.
He was now an indeterminable piece in a clouded order.
I swilled the amber,
and stumbled through links of smoke
until I spilled out
into the violent protrusions of the quiet evening –
like sails glaring on a sun-crushed sea.
I still can’t figure out what that four dollars was worth,
or what the bartender said to me.
Copyright © William McIntosh McIntosh | Year Posted 2007
Poetrysoup is an environment of encouragement and growth so only provide specific positive comments that indicate what you appreciate about the poem.